How do you know if your content “worked”?

Introduction

How do you know if your content is ‘working’? content marketing metrics

Over the past weeks we’ve seen how goals and tactics for your content marketing change through the sales funnel.  You will never know if your content achieved the intended goal if you don’t track content marketing metrics.

In this post, we look at how you measure the impact of your content through the sales funnel:

  • Did your content build AWARENESS at the top of the funnel?
  • Did your content enable EVALUATION in the middle of the funnel?
  • Did your content CONVERT leads into customers at the bottom of the funnel?

Section 1: Metrics at the top of the funnel

Top-of-the-funnel goals aim to build awareness of your brand and your solution.  Your metrics need to tell you if the tactics you use are achieving those goals.

  • Increasing offer awareness is a key metric at the top of the funnel.
  • Site engagement rates are little more than vanity metrics. They can include bounce rates, number of site visits and average session length.
  • When another website links to a page on your website, like you blog, it increases your number of inbound links. Search engine use the number of inbound links to rank your site. The more the better!
  • Monitoring traffic by channel will help you focus appropriate tactics on all channels.
  • When visitors don’t respond to your call-to-action, they move to your retargeting list. You can segment your list and retarget them based on their site activities.

Section 2: Metrics in the middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel you are trying to keep prospects moving through the sales funnel.  You are offering lead magnets to increase leads and email list growth.  Metrics that will help in the middle of the funnel include:

  • Tracking the number of leads generated and email list growth is a direct measure of a tactics success. You can track lead growth through a CRM and email list growth through email service providers like MailChimp.
  • Offer conversion rate tells you how many visitors opted in to your lead magnet offer. It is quoted as a percent of total visitors to your landing page.
  • Monitoring retargeting list growth will allow you to try other engagement options with visitors that didn’t take up the offer the first time.
  • By tracking newsletter email open/click-through-rate, you will understand what interests your list, what headlines and content is working.

Section 3: Metrics at the bottom of the funnel

At the bottom of the funnel you want to keep your list happy.  You don’t want to bombard them with offers.  You want to keep upselling and cross-selling. And you want to retain customers on any pay services you may offer.

  • The number of sales-qualified leads is the important metric at the bottom of the funnel.
  • You determine the offer conversion rate by dividing the number of purchases by the number of sales page visits.
  • Promo email open/click-through-rates can be monitored by your list manager.
  • Retargeting list growth represents another opportunity to target leads with alternate offers to spark their interest.
  • By determining your average customer value, you can decide how much you can spend to acquire customers.
  • Retention rate will tell you how many customers stayed with you during a given period. To calculate, subtract the number of customer acquired during the period from the number you have at the end of the period.  Then divide that number by the number of customers you had at the start of the period.
  • By monitoring buyer recency/frequency rates, you can keep your brand and messaging in front with quality content.

Conclusion

Over the past few weeks we have seen how goals, tactics, and metrics for your content marketing change through the sales funnel:

  • At the top of the funnel your goals, tactics and metrics focus on building AWARENESS of your brand, your solution.
  • In the middle of the funnel your goals, tactics and metrics aim to provide information that encourages EVALUATION of your solution.
  • At the bottom, your goals, tactics and metrics need to CONVERT leads into customers.

 

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

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Five simple steps to start the conversation (Step 4)

readability

We have found that if you find an emotionally compelling idea, adopt an easy-to-read style, and keep it concise and to the point, your content will be easier to understand.  This week and next we look at ways to structure your document to make it easier to read.  This week Step #4: Make it skim-able.

Step #4: Make it skim-able

You can make your document more user-friendly by providing cues that promote skimming.  There are a couple tricks you can use to help these readers out.

Trick #1: Use headings

Headings show your readers how your document is organized.  And they let your reader skim the text to find the information they’re looking for.  Readers on the Internet tend to move on to something else if they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly.  In longer documents, add a table of contents at the beginning, too.

There are several ways to write a heading.  You can state it as a question, as a phrase or as a declarative sentence:

  • “Are there two kinds of people in the world?”
  • “Two kinds of people in the world”
  • Declarative sentence. “There are two kinds of people in the world.”

 

Trick #2: Break up blocks of text with bulleted/numbered lists

Lists are easy for readers to skim. Choose numbers when presenting a list with items in a specific sequence or rank order. Use bullets when the items listed are equivalent in importance.

Conclusion

These tricks improve readability because:

  • They make it easier for readers to find what they want.
  • They make your content less intimidating by breaking it up visually.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp. 

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #5: Structure it to soothe the reader’s eye

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How to make sure your content achieves your goals

Introduction

Is your content achieving your goals?content marketing tactics

Last week we looked at how important goals are to strategic content marketing.  And we saw how the goals for your content change through the sales funnel.  Now you need to develop content that will achieve those goals.

This week we look at the types of content -tactics – that will support and encourage your prospects in their journey through your sales funnel.

For you see, the tactics you use to deliver your content will change, along with your goals, through the sales funnel:

  • At the top of the funnel your content needs to build AWARENESS
  • In the middle of the funnel, content must enable EVALUATION
  • At the bottom of the funnel, your content needs to CONVERT

Section 1: Tactics at the top of the funnel

At the top of the funnel you are striving to build awareness.  Awareness of your brand and your products.  Awareness that your solution will solve your prospects’ problem.  You may even need to make your prospects aware that they have a problem, a problem you can solve!

At the top of the funnel you provide quality information that informs your audience.  Content should be engaging and informative not full of hype.

There are many tactics that are effective at the top of the funnel.

Blogs are imperative for top-of-funnel content publishing.  Provide relevant and timely information about problems in the industry and available solutions. And provide the information consistently.  Decide on a schedule and stick to it.

When you post a blog you then post social media updates with links back to your blog and website.

Problem/solution whitepapers are an excellent tactic at the top of the funnel.  (More detail about white papers through the sales funnel here).  And whitepapers are a great call to action.  By downloading the white paper, they are showing an interest.  Ready to be drawn further into your sales funnel.

Infographics can provide information in an entertaining and easy to digest format.  And by requiring an email address to download, they become a powerful call to action.

Newsletters are an excellent channel to build and maintain relationships.  Keep the content 80% information and education and 20% about your company.  How you work, how you interact with your community, your employees.

Provide primary research on trends in your industry.  Conduct and report on surveys of your customers about their pain points, issues with current solutions, emerging trends.

Regardless of the tactic used, always provide value.  The top of the funnel is about building awareness.  Establishing trust. And that only comes through quality content provided consistently.

Section 2: Tactics in the middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel your prospects are evaluating your solution.  Making comparisons.  Showing some interest but keeping a distance.content marketing tactics

Therefore, in the middle of the funnel, your tactics should provide information that will assist them in their evaluation of your solution.

For you, the middle of the funnel is all about lead magnets.  Lead magnets that compel your prospects to take action.

What is a lead magnet?  A lead magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange to their contact information.

In the middle of the funnel the best tactics include:

Educational resources including case studies, free reports, eBooks, and white papers.  Numbered-list white papers are very effective in the middle of the funnel.  They provide information in an easy-to-read and skim-able format.

Useful resources can be even more powerful than educational resources as lead magnets.  Checklists, templates, tool kits, resource lists all provide that chunk of value that compels your prospect to give you their contact information.

A quiz or survey on a relevant industry topic can entice readers to divulge contact details as well as provide valuable information for blogs and articles.

Webinars and events are an opportunity to provide valuable content while gathering contact information.

In the middle of the funnel your tactics must continue to provide valuable information.  Information your prospects are willing to trade their contact details for.  Lead magnets that change prospects into leads.

Section 3: Content at the bottom of the funnel

At the bottom of the funnel you are striving to convert your leads into customers.  Here you need to provide specific details about your solution.  Enough detail to convince your lead that your solution will in fact solve their problem.

At the bottom of the funnel effective tactics include:

Showing how your solution works with a demo/free trial.

Providing specific, technical information in a backgrounder white paper.  Give your leads all the information they need to convince themselves that your solution will solve their problem.

Using customer success stories to demonstrate how your solution worked for a specific customer.  These stories are closer to testimonials than case studies.  The point is to demonstrate your solution and your services.

Conclusion

You can now see that the tactics you use change as your goals change through the sales funnel.  It is also clear that mapping your content to your buyers’ journey is critical for a good return-on-investment for your content:

  • At the top of the funnel publish content that builds AWARENESS of your brand, your solution.
  • In the middle of the funnel provide information that encourages EVALUATION of your solution.
  • At the bottom, tactics must CONVERT leads into customers.

Next week, we check out how to measure how well your tactics are working through metrics.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

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Five simple steps to start the conversation (Step 3)

readability

We now know that if you find one emotionally compelling idea and adopt an easy-to-read style your content will be easier to understand.  This week we look at Step #3: Write concisely and to the point.

Step #3: Write concisely and to the point

When writing about complex technical subjects, you need to construct your sentences carefully.  Direct, simple sentences will help get your point across.  In fact, long sentences almost always have complex grammatical structures.  This puts a strain on the reader’s immediate memory.  The reader has to retain several parts of each sentence before he can combine them into a meaningful whole.

Here are a few tricks to help you keep concise and to the point:

Trick #1: Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

The average length of your sentences should be 20 words or fewer

Trick #2: Sentences should focus on one idea

Keep it simple. Cover only one idea per sentence and one theme per paragraph. Get to the point; don’t wander around first.  Find one emotionally compelling idea, as we discussed in the first post in the series.  Find it here.

Trick #3: Use the active voice

Use the active voice.  The passive voice tends to seem evasive:

The standards were breached.

Who breached the standards? As a reader, you might think: Is the writer trying to hide something from me? If you don’t want to appear to be hiding something, you should use active voice:

The refinery breached a water quality standard.

Conclusion

Keep you writing concise and to the point.  Keep sentences short and focused on one idea. Use the active voice.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp. 

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

 

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #4: Make it skim-able

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Is your content just noise?

content marketing goals

Introduction

Content without goals is just noise.

Setting goals allows you to measure the success of your content strategy.  Defining goals means everyone on the team understands what the content is intended to achieve and how it will look when that happens.

High-level goals for strategic content marketing in the water industry can be to:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Drive more traffic to your website.
  • Generate sales leads.
  • Convert more leads into customers.
  • Improve retention and drive upsell.

However, many content marketing plans fail to realize that goals change through the sales funnel.  There are different goals at each stage of the funnel.

content marketing goalsAt the top of the funnel, your goals should be about building awareness of your brand and your solutions.

In the middle, you allow prospects to evaluate whether your solution will indeed solve their problem.

And at the bottom of the funnel, your goals are fundamentally about converting leads into customers.

In this post, we look at possible goals for content marketing through the sales funnel.  Just be sure your goals link back to desired business outcomes.

 

 

Section 1: Goals at the top of the funnel

At the top of the sales funnel you are working to increase awareness of your brand, your solution.  Your prospects are cold.  They may not even know they have a problem much less that you hold the solution.

Therefore, at the top of the funnel your content should provide information to your prospects about a problem in the industry.  A problem with a currently-available solution that may not be quite as good as your solution.

Your actual product should not be touted at the top of the funnel.  Just the science and/or technology of your solution that sets it apart.

Thus, goals at the top of the funnel can be to:

  • Increase awareness
  • Increase engagement
  • Grow website traffic
  • Grow retargeting lists

Not all goals will apply to all situations.  And there may be other goals that suit your business.  Pick the ones that align with your business objectives.

Section 2: Goals in the middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel your prospect is evaluating solutions, seeing which solution will solve their problem.  You draw them into the middle of the funnel by offering content they want to download.  You are warming up the prospects and moving them into the funnel with offers.

Offers that must be downloaded.  This gives you the opportunity to collect email addresses.  You can then use email to further engage with the prospect.

Goals in the middle of the funnel may be to:

  • Grow email lists/leads
  • Grow retargeting lists
  • Initial Customer Acquisition

Goals in the middle are about warming up your prospects by allowing them to evaluate all the options.  Getting them to pick your solution happens in the bottom of the funnel.

Section 3: Goals at the bottom of the funnel

At the bottom of the funnel, your prospect is making the decision about your solution.

That means he’s paying more attention to what you offer.  He’s looking at different packages and options.  Your ultimate goal in the bottom of the funnel is to help that prospect make the final decision to purchase.

Goals in the bottom of the funnel are about:

  • Nurturing leads/customers
  • Maximizing immediate customer value
  • Increasing retention
  • Increasing buyer frequency
  • Growing retargeting lists

Again, choose goals that align with your business goals.

Conclusion

content marketing goalsSetting goals for your content marketing strategy is powerful.  Aligning content goals with business goals increases the efficiency and efficacy of you content investment.

Next week we’ll look at what types of content will help you reach your content marketing goals.

 

 

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

 

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Five simple steps to start the conversation (Step 2)

readability

We saw in last week’s post that if you find one emotionally compelling idea it will be much easier to write clearly and concisely.  This week we look at Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style.

Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style

When you use an easy-to-read style, your reader can focus on your message rather than muddling through dense text.  These three tricks can help you develop that easy-to-read style.

Trick #1: Use personal pronouns

Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone.  Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer.  And that conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.

Just be sure that personal pronouns are right for the content.  It may not be appropriate in every situation.easy-to-read style

Trick #2: Avoid jargon

It’s easy to be drawn to words that are common in your industry. But are they common to your audience?  When writing for non-specialists and you have a choice between words, use the common, everyday word.

A couple further pointers on word choice:

  • Use positive words. Negatives like don’t in front of a verb can make some readers stumble.
  • Avoid long strings of nouns. Sentences with several nouns in a row can be difficult to navigate.
  • Use inclusive language. Unless your document is about men, don’t use only male pronouns (he, his).

Sometimes you may have to use a technical term, even when you’re writing for non-specialists. In that case, choose words that will help your readers.

Trick #3: Avoid padding with words like very, really, actually, or carefully

These words don’t serve any purpose.  Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.

Conclusion

By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start a conversation by engaging your audience.  Use personal pronouns, where appropriate.  Avoid jargon by choosing the right word. Avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp.

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #3: Keep it concise and to the point

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A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

content marketing plan

Introduction

Content is King!

Aren’t you sick of hearing that?  Unfortunately, it’s true…

If you want to generate leads and build thought leadership, you need to publish content.  But without a strategic content marketing plan, it could be difficult to reach your goals.

A robust content marketing strategy, on the other hand, shifts the focus of your content agenda.  It becomes a smart, coordinated approach rather than a mad dash.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.

The water industry sales funnel can be divided into three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Evaluation
  • Conversion

At each stage, you can nurture your prospects along by providing valuable content about the problem they are trying to solve.  And information about how your product, process, or service will solve that problem.

With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

So, let’s get started!

Just do it:       A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

Start the process with a brainstorming session.  In general, people involved in the planning process support the plan’s implementation, Include as many of the team as possible.  Top management to technical experts.  The sales team and the design team.

Step 1:          Goals through the sales funnel

The goals for your content marketing must be consistent with your company’s desired business outcomes.  You need to be able to document which business outcome you want to impact through your content creation.

Remember, content marketing builds trust.  Your company builds trust over time by providing quality information.  Make your content marketing count by defining goals that will impact the desired business outcomes.

In next week’s post, we will take a deep dive into:

  • how to establish goals for content marketing, and
  • how they change through the sales funnel.

Step 2:          Your audience through the sales funnel

In B2B marketing, the sales funnel is long and many people are involved in the decision-making process.  To target your content to the right audience, you will need to identify the key personas in each stage of the sales funnel.  Your content can then be crafted to provide value to each of them.content marketing plan

You also need to understand that your audience is not static or inflexible.  Changes in the market can alter your prospects’ attitudes:

  • Has there been a major weather event (i.e. flood, drought, storms)?
  • Has there been a major change in the regulatory framework?
  • Is a certain sector heading into ‘boom’ conditions?

Be sure to review your personas regularly to reflect these types of changes.

Step 3:          Content through the sales funnel

Now that you understand who your target audience is, as a person, you can start thinking about how to take it to the next level and forge a connection with them. Start a one-on-one conversation.

One way to approach this is to create a story around the desirable qualities and unique value proposition that only your business can provide.

These are your big ideas.  They become the themes in your content calendar.  A calendar that documents the purpose of all your content.  You then break done the big ideas into content-sized chunks.

In a later post in this series, we will look in greater detail at which content types work best at each stage in the sales funnel.

Step 4:          Metrics through the sales funnel

There’s a saying in marketing: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”.  content marketing planIf you want to be able to quantify the return on investment (ROI) in a content marketing campaign, you must be able to measure the response.

It is important to tie the metrics to the goals and objectives of your content marketing strategy.   You must also make sure that systems are in place to track the chosen metric.  Develop procedures to make sure all metrics are monitored and both positive and negative results addressed.

In the final post in this series we will align metrics to your goals and content as they change through the sales funnel.

Step 5:          Plan review through the sales funnel

Your strategic content marketing strategy is a living document.  You need to be reviewing the plan regularly to ensure it remains relevant.  Within the plan itself, specify review periods for all sections of the plan.  Review periods will be different for each section of the plan:

  • Goals – 5-yearly
  • Content Calendar – annually
  • Audience – annually and/or event-based
  • Metrics – quarterly

Give it power             Document your strategic content marketing plan

You pulled together a lot of information, going through this process. Now document it!  You will generate a powerful statement about your intentions.  About how content marketing will achieve your desired business outcomes.

A documented strategy helps you gain support from the executive team.  A plan keeps content producers strategically aligned.

Conclusion

Content is here to stay.  If your company wants to stay on the top pages of Google, it is going to have to use content marketing.  And effective content marketing is only possible with strategic planning.

Go through the process.  Document it.  Implement it.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

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Five simple steps to start the conversation

readability

Introduction

Is your content ‘talking’ to your audience?

The whole point of marketing is to start a one-on-one conversation between two people.  Ultimately a conversation between your sales person and their business manager. one compelling idea

Your product is complex and technical.  That’s fine.  But if your content is hard to understand the conversation may never get started.  You need to simplify the language in your content to make your complex, technical product understandable.

In this series of posts, we look at how to simplify your writing using five simple steps.  But first we should understand how readability is assessed.

Readability: Flesch Kincaid (FK) Explained

The Flesch Kincaid readability assessment was developed to assess the difficulty of reading materials for upper elementary through secondary grades.  Although the FK test was developed to assess reading material for students, the FK score is basically about the readability of the text.  A scale based on a formula.

The FK (as it is known) looks at these factors in a piece of writing:

  • # of letters per word: more letters, more difficult to read.
  • # of words per sentence: more words, more difficult to read.
  • # of sentences per paragraph: more sentences, more difficult to read.
  • % passive sentences: more passive sentences, more difficult to read.

Word processing software can review documents and report on two FK parameters:

  • Flesch reading ease, and
  • FK grade level.

The Flesch reading ease assessment is reported as a percent and the higher the better.  And for persuasive content writing, a FK grade level score of 8 or less is best.

Although the FK score can help you improve the clarity of your writing, it does have drawbacks.  Of course, you should avoid jargon and technical terms as much as possible but sometimes it just can’t be helped.  Just be aware that your FK score may creep up if you rely too much on these less familiar and less used terms.

Remember, a bad readability score does mean reading will be difficulty.  But a good readability score does not in itself mean the writing was good.

 

Now on to Step #1 of 5 that will start you on your road to content that is easily understood.

Step #1: Find one emotionally compelling idea

The most powerful aid to clear, concise writing is to identify an emotionally compelling idea.  One that engages the reader or listener on two levels: emotionally and rationally.

It doesn’t have to be factual. But it does need to feel like it is or should be true. It must be so emotionally attractive the reader wants to believe it.one compelling idea

An emotionally compelling idea must generate a feeling of discovering something new and useful.  Something new to think about and share.

How to find that emotionally compelling idea.

There is no substitute for research.  You need to know the topic – your product – and its features and benefits. You need to know your audience and their needs.

It always helps to start with a brainstorming session.  Whether alone or with your team, think about all the features and benefits of your product.  If an emotionally compelling idea doesn’t jump off the page, which it most likely won’t, more research is required.

After further research into features/benefits and your audience’s needs, you then repeat the brainstorming activity.  Once you really understand the values and benefits, one benefit will stand out.  Turn that one benefit into an emotionally compelling idea.

Put that emotionally compelling idea right up front

First things first.  By putting your main message right up front, your reader is more likely to come away with at least that message.  You can help your reader by:

  • Stating the subject of an email in the subject line.
  • Including an executive summary with a white paper.
  • Stating the basic facts about a news item in the first sentence or two of a news release.

An introduction is also helpful, regardless of the length of your document.

Conclusion

Studies have shown that people like to know what they’re in for right from the start.  Put your emotionally compelling idea right up front.  In primary school, they taught us that when writing a report, you should:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them,
  • tell them,
  • then tell them what you told them.

It still applies today.  Put the emotionally compelling idea up front and draw your audience through to the call-to-action.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp. 

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style

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Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

content marketing SEO

Introduction

Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy based on keywords may not get you to the first page of a Google anymore.  Search engines no longer focus on single keywords.  Instead, they try to work out the intent of the user.  And what content will answer the user’s question.

As search engines get more sophisticated, so should your SEO.  It is all about content now.  In fact, content is king! We’ve all heard it, right?

It this blog we’ll look at how developing and documenting a strategic content marketing plan can send you back to the top of the search list.

What happened that makes content marketing so important to SEO?

In traditional SEO, you would scatter identified keywords throughout your website and social media sites.  To get the attention of search engines, you would put keywords both in the text and it the meta data.

Then, in 2013, the game changed.  Google introduced a new search algorithm, Hummingbird, that is much better at guessing the user’s intent.  Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query.  The whole sentence or conversation or meaning is considered, rather than particular keywords.

The bottom line is that Hummingbird is looking for content.  These days, to stay at the top of the search results, you need to supply quality content and supply it consistently.

Why bother with a strategic content marketing plan?

Content marketing has proven benefits for the water industry.  The most often-cited benefits are:

  • Generating leads
  • Building brand awareness
  • Engaging with prospects

Strategic content marketing benefits the water industry in other ways as well.  Water and wastewater treatment plants are big-ticket items with long service lives.  A sale depends on connecting with multiple decision makers.  Content marketing can help progress leads through this sometimes long, sales funnel.content marketing SEO

The best way to ensure quality and consistency in your content is to have a plan.  A strategic content marketing plan.

A robust content marketing strategy shifts the focus of your content agenda.  Rather than a mad dash, it’s a smart, coordinated approach.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.  With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

A strategic content marketing plan:

  • Identifies goals for content marketing that align with desired business outcomes.
  • Describes your audience and how that audience changes through the sales funnel.
  • Contains a content calendar that uses topics and tactics to lead your audience where you want them to go.
  • Assigns metrics that will allow you to measure the success of your content marketing campaign.
  • Schedules regular plan reviews to ensure continued relevance.

If you document your plan it becomes even more powerful.  Use it to engage management, the sales team, the entire work force.

Conclusion

Search engines are now focusing on the user’s intent rather than on specific keywords.  To stay at the top of the search results you must supply quality content consistently.

In the coming weeks, we will look in more detail at how to develop a strategic content marketing plan.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

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